BEIJING: China is prepared to increase its import of Malaysian goods, says its prime minister, Li Keqiang.
This, he said, includes palm oil and other agricultural products to meet the demands of its 1.4 billion population.
“China is committed to a more balanced bilateral trade with Malaysia.
“To this end, we are ready to import more items from Malaysia, especially palm oil and other agricultural products, to meet the needs of our people,” he said.
Li was speaking at a joint press conference with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a delegation meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday.
Dr Mahathir is on a five-day official visit to China.
Members of his delegation include Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah; Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim; International Trade and Industries Minister Ignatius Darell Leiking; Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong; Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof; and senior government officials.
Li said, in his meeting with Dr Mahathir, they had agreed to expand the cooperation between the two countries in new economic areas, especially those related to technology.
“Dr Mahathir’s visit and the mutual agreements achieved show the world that both nations enjoy a good relationship,” he said.
Commenting on the trade war between China and the United States, Li said he had repeatedly stressed that there would not be a winner.
The trade war, he said, would impact the economy of both nations and global trade.
“All the countries in the world are dependent on each other. As such, if there is any trade clashes, it will have an impact on global trade,” he said.
Li offered an analogy, saying that if a river is polluted, it would not only kill the fishes but also damage the entire ecosystem.
He said China has always believed in global free trade.
Commenting on the same issue, Dr Mahathir said that while Malaysia supports free trade, it has to be fair.
“Each country has its own level of development, hence the poor need to be given opportunity to also benefit from global free trade,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd